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5 reasons to visit Philadelphia

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Philadelphia is known for its rich history and vibrant culture. Pennsylvania’s largest city attracts 40 million visitors a year and everywhere you turn there’s something to do.

So why not organise a hire car from Philadelphia airport. While you’re at it, knock off this list of five great things to see or do in the city.

Liberty Bell Centre
The Liberty Bell is one of Philadelphia’s most powerful icons. At the Liberty Bell Centre, you can delve into its history. You’ll learn about how this huge bell came to become a symbol of freedom, which was used on everything from wind chimes to ice cream molds. You’ll also see X-Rays, which show an old crack through the bell. It’s a free walk through the centre. It’s also open year-round from 9am to 5pm, and there’s extended hours in the summer.

Reading Terminal Market
The market was established in 1892 at 12th and Arch Streets, making it the country’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market. After it’s distinguished history, it’s become known as one of the nation’s greatest public markets. Whether you’re after fresh produce, exotic meats or impeccably baked goods, you’ll find every type of stall here. If you have time, make sure you chat with some of the merchants. Many of them are descendants of the original stand holders who were part of the market when it opened more than a century ago.

Walnut Street Theatre (pictured)
While in Philadelphia take a tour of or watch a play at the Walnut Street Theatre. The company has a proud history of supporting local performance. Some of the most noteworthy actors of the 19th and 20th centuries have appeared on stage here, including Edwin Booth, Mike Nichols, Jane Fonda and Katharine Hepburn. But America’s oldest theatre has interesting roots, as it was originally home to horses.

Schuylkill River Trail
Get outdoors and enjoy the Schuylkill River Trail. Whether you feel like a job, a bike ride or a leisurely walk, you can have a go at all or part of the trail. It extends several miles across Southeastern Pennsylvania, with part of the trail stretching 30 miles from Philadelphia to Parkerford. Pass the riverside and admire the city’s skyline as you complete the trail.

Eastern State Penitentiary
Visit the Eastern State Penitentiary and pick up an audio headset. It will guide you through the complex at your own pace and explain its history. You’ll learn about riots that have occurred inside these walls, impressive escape plots and more. Take a haunted tour of Terror Behind the Walls, which is inside the castle-like walls of the complex. This is rated as among the country’s top haunted attractions.


Brianna Piazza is an Australian television reporter and part-time travel blogger. Originally from Melbourne, she's currently living in Cairns where she works for WIN News and spends her weekends exploring the outdoors Far North Queensland.

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